Patagonia 2020: the Carretera Austral
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Rough plan

Rent a vehicle and drive down the Carretera Austral (“regarded as one of the most beautiful roads and incredible drives in the world”), crossing over to Argentina periodically, while camping (at campgrounds + wild camping) and hiking along the way. 

Time: 3 weeks
Begin: Late October Feb? Aug/Sept 2020?
Why: Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world; glaciers, enormous mountains, challenging hiking; sleeping under the stars; being isolated from the internet/technology; adventure

Potential Route

Starting at Puerto Montt, drive most of the way down the Carretera Austral before crossing into Argentina at Patagonia National Park, and then continuing down to Punta Arenas: (More specific: )

  • Can rent at Puerto Montt and return at Punta Arenas; they have tent-vehicles w/refrigerators etc...

This is a good overview of how to do this journey properly… first listen to the podcast and then read:

Things to get

Lots of rain/mud during this time of year. Very cold at times. Layer clothing.

  • Very lightweight tent
  • Very lightweight sleeping bag
  • Arc’teryx waterproof shell
  • Hiking shoes
  • Dry bags
  • Cooking equipment
  • Head lamp (batteries)
  • DEET Mosquito repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • No denim; outdoor gear. Rainproof pants and jacket.
  • Satellite emergency beacon


  • Get Entel SIM which will work in most places where there is coverage
  • Apps
  • iOverlander - driving tips
  • - download all maps, directions
  • Use US dollars for accommodations to avoid paying 19% tax. Always have cash in both currencies. 
  • Keep gas tank full, and fill at every gas station no matter how much fuel you have. 
  • Do not carry produce or dairy — cannot pass between Chile and Argentina easily. 
  • Keep passport in ziplock/dry bag